What I think about guns and gun control

Gun prohibition would not work, and would create worse problems, just as alcohol prohibition did and drug prohibition is now doing.

samuelljacksonguns6ca1bd46d6925b46071c077bcf8d6e72Ownership of firearms by law-abiding, responsible people is not a social problem.

Much (not all) gun legislation is security theater.   It doesn’t make people safer, but it makes them feel safer.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  The Supreme Court has held that this is an individual right.

The right to self-defense is a human right.  Thomas Hobbes and other philosophers have called it the most fundamental human right.

Throughout history and across many cultures, freedom is associated with the right to own weapons and the duty to fight for one’s community or nation.  Throughout history and across many cultures, slaves and subjugated people are denied the right to own weapons.

The United States historically is a gun culture.  Guns have had a cultural and symbolic significance in American culture similar to the sword in Japanese culture.

However—

Fundamental human rights are subject to reasonable regulation as to the manner of their exercise.

Different communities have different priorities.  Guns in rural Wyoming have a different significance from guns in the Bronx.

There are times and places where firearms do not belong.   This was true even in the Wild West.

There are people who should not own or use firearms, just as there are people who should not drink alcohol or drive automobiles.   Anyone who takes an innocent life with a gun (and I included people with badges) should forfeit the right to own or carry a firearm for the rest of their lives.

Guns are not personally important to me.  Although I have relatives and acquaintances, whom I respect, who are devoted to hunting, target shooting and gun collecting, I have never owned a firearm and have probably shot at targets not more than half a dozen times in my life, including marksmanship training in the Army.

The Constitution of the United States is vitally important to me.  Loyalty to the Constitution defines American patriotism.  The Constitution, with all its flaws, is a shield that stands between individual Americans and arbitrary despotic power.   The authority of the Constitution should not be weakened by disregarding the parts that you think are irrelevant.

The lawful means to fix flaws in the Constitution is to amend it.  The lawful means to fix misinterpretations of the Constitution by the courts is to support appointments of judges with a better understanding.

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